The Last Samurai

Powerful Essays
Topics: Samurai
The Last Samurai Think about your friends, family, and your loved ones for a second. Think about what luxuries you have and how you have come to love them. Doesn’t it make you feel blessed and lucky to be who you are? Now imagine being thrown onto enemy territory, a lonely and dangerous place with nothing. In order to survive you must communicate with the enemy and learn to live their way—the total opposite culture you hate. In the movie, The Last Samurai, the author portrays a Civil War veteran, Captain Algren, commander and trainer of Japan’s new technology-efficient military. His task is to defeat a rebellion of the remaining Samurai in Japan. After Algren is captured, he is taken into their village as an information tool. He begins to learn their way of life and finds himself caught up in two situations. As Algren misses his old way of life, he tends to love the way of the Samurai, along with a woman. The captain has now become the enemy he initially wanted to kill. This story presents the finest meaning of finding true identity and communication, through verbal and nonverbal expression. It shows the way a person’s identity and self-concept can be influenced through culture, gender, age, and even by stereotype. Since the world was changing drastically in the 19th century, technology was new and indeed new for warfare. Captain Algren was asked by his commander and personnel from the Japanese consulate to train the Japanese military. The new technology will destroy the Samurai and make the Samurai way obsolete. He simply agrees to do this with money as his only purpose. Initially, he has no care about the Samurai, the Japanese, or his commander’s intent. In that scene, Algren shows disrespect to his commander and Japanese consulate through his nonverbal communication. His looks, the sucking of his teeth, drinking superfluously and dry sarcasm are the body orientations that show his disinterest (226). The consulate speaks Japanese to his secretary about how


Cited: Alder, Ronald B., Russell F. Proctor Ii, and Neil Towne. Looking Out Looking In. Belmont: Thomson Learning, Inc., 2005. 294-405. Frymier, Ann B. "Students ' Classroom Communication Effectiveness." Communication Quarterly 53 (2005): 197-212. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. UNLV Lied Library, Las Vegas. 5 Dec. 2006. Ikegami, Eiko. "Shame and the Samurai." Social Research (2003): 1351-1378. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. UNLV Lied Library, Las Vegas. 5 Dec. 2006. Olthuis, Gert, Carlo Leget, and Wim Dekkers. "Why Hospice Nurses Need High Self-Esteem." Nursing Ethics 2007 (2006): 62-71. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. UNLV Lied Library, Las Vegas. 5 Dec. 2006. Richards, Malcolm. "Noh Man 's Land." American Review (2006): 3. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. UNLV Lied Library, Las Vegas. 5 Dec. 2006.

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